Xanax is the most prescribed psychiatric medicine in the United States. While it treats a various anxiety disorders, the high volume of Xanax prescriptions has also led to increased drug use. If left untreated, men can easily develop a Xanax addiction.
What Is Xanax?
A powerful sedative, Xanax treats generalized anxiety disorder, insomnia and panic disorders. Scientists developed this benzodiazepine to replace barbiturates. Xanax is actually a brand of the generic drug alprazolam. Street names include:
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The pills come in several doses with different colors and shapes. Typically, the effects peak about one to two hours after taking it. However, the drug stays in your body for about 12–15 hours.
How Does Xanax Affect the Brain?
Xanax boosts a chemical in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid, which slows down nerve cell activity in the brain. This slowed activity causes people to feel calm and relaxed.
Currently, the DEA classifies Xanax as a Schedule IV drug. Its swift effectiveness is what makes it so dangerous. In fact, some people feel the effects in as little as 25 minutes. Since the effects only last for a few hours, many people feel compelled to take more, even if it violates their prescriptions.
However, Xanax tolerance develops quickly. People need to take more and more to achieve the same effects, causing some individuals to take 20–30 pills a day. Increased tolerance and dependence can quickly manifest into addiction.
Signs of Xanax Addiction
When individuals develop a Xanax addiction, others may notice that they ignore their daily obligations. This could include neglecting family, not showing up for work or skipping school. Instead, they devote all of their energy to seeking and using drugs.
Another sign of addiction is losing interest in activities or hobbies that they onced loved. Some people start taking more risks, such as driving with Xanax in their system. They may even encounter legal problems because of their use.
Other possible signs of addiction include:
- Inability to stop using
- Losing control over how much they use
- Obsessing over getting and using Xanax
Additionally, many individuals with a Xanax addiction are scared to quit because they’ve heard about dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Since these symptoms can start just hours after their last dose, they may take more to get relief.
Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms
A Xanax addiction doesn’t have to exist in order for men to experience withdrawal symptoms. These side effects can happen after only a couple of weeks. People with Xanax addiction may have more severe symptoms, including: